West Africa - Am I trying to do too much?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Aug 17, 2012 2:47 PM Last Post By: lindgren
Aug 16, 2012 7:40 PM
West Africa - Am I trying to do too much?I have devised the following preliminary itinerary for my planned trip to West Africa next year. I am I trying to do too much? It is silly to visit both Mole and Pendjari? Are my transit times realistic? I will be using public transport except for the two journeys marked public transport and my air journeys.
I have a budget of $3500 not including Airfare.
I appreciate any feedback?
Jan-19: Arrive Accra Airport @ 2035
Jan-21: Accra/Cape Coast (get Benin Visa)
Jan-22: Cape Coast
Jan-23: Cape Coast/Kumasi
Jan-26: Kumasi/Monkey Sanctuary/Mole (private transport)
Jan-27: Mole National Park
Jan-28: Transit to Kara, Togo (Transit visa on Togo Border)
Jan-29: Tata Somba Villages/Tanguieta
Jan-30: Pendjari National Park
Jan-31: Transit to Abomey
Feb-2: Ganvie/Accra (via Air) - Depart Cotonou @ 1400
Feb-3: Accra/Dakar (via Air) - Depart Accra @ 1135
Feb-4: Dakar/Lac Rose/Thies/Touba/Saint-Louis (private transport)
Feb-5: Saint-Louis/Djoudj NP
Feb-6: Saint-Louis/Dakar/Ziguinchor (via Air) Depart Dakar @ 1620
Feb-7: Ziguinchor/Bissau (get Guinea-Bissau Visa)
Feb-8: Bissau/Bijagos Islands (get Gambian Visa)
Feb-9 Bijagos Islands
Feb-10: Bijagos Islands/Bissau
Feb-11: Bissau (Bissau Carnival)
Feb-12: Bissau (Bissau Carnival)/Banjul (via Air) Depart Bissau @ 0110 (02/13)
Feb-13: The Gambia
Feb-14: The Gambia
Feb-17: Dakar/Depart Dakar Airport @ 2335
Aug 17, 2012 1:54 AM
1It's doable, it's very fast - had a quick glance and my initial thoughts are:
1. Drop Pendjari, doing it in one day travelling from Mole is crazy
2. Drop Togo & Benin if I were you & focus on Ghana initially
3. Unsure how you'll get your Benin visa whilst also trying to get to C.Coast?!
4. Your flights in/out of Senegal - I hope they're not with Senegal Airlines!
5. Drop the Gambia & either return to Dakar via road at a leisurely pace or spend more time in G.Bissau
Aug 17, 2012 8:03 AM
Aug 17, 2012 11:39 AM
3Do you even need a Benin visa? I thought most Westerners could get at least a 3 or 7 day visa on arrival. Maybe that's changed. I got mine on the border with Togo a few years ago.
Dakar is worth a full day (with 1/2 of that day at Ile de Goree).
Haven't been to Bijagos Islands but when I looked into going it seemed lie something that would would be difficult to rush into two days.
Also, my research earlier this year suggested that most Westerners might be able to get a short term Gambian visa/landing permit at the airport. Not sure. I haven't been to Banjul, but I've heard it's quite small and not a lot to see, so I would question why you would spend 3 nights there if you are otherwise rushing through Dakar and Bijagos.
Good luck. Please report back on your trip about times/prices/border hassles for transport around these areas. Current info is always appreciated.
Aug 17, 2012 11:53 AM
Aug 17, 2012 1:31 PM
5Thanks for the feedback everyone.
I'm getting the consensus that Mole is not worth the time if I am also doing Pendjari. I have never been on Safari so I would rather just do Pendjari if I can only do one (I want to see some lions!). I think I will drop it and add days in Cape Coast and Pendjari instead.
I am flying to Dakar from Accra instead of Cotonou because I found a really good deal on a ticket from the US. $1600 R/T and it includes the Accra-Dakar flight. I think i can get a transit visa for my second visit to Ghana since it is less than 24 hours.
I just read on here that Benin stopped issuing Visas on the border. A Visa in DC is $140 while a Visa in Accra is $30 so I think it is worth the extra 1/2 day in Accra.
It sucks that the Bijagos Ferry schedule only allows a two day visit but I figure its better than nothing.
I am thinking about cutting a day in the Gambia and addidng another day in Dakar instead.
Thanks again for the suggestions.
Aug 17, 2012 1:39 PM
6There are various ways of getting out to Bijagos with a bit of negotiation
Returning to Ghana for 24h will require another visa unless something has just changed in their immigration laws, so get a transit visa
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